Stroke recovery steps
A stroke can be a life-changing experience and stroke patients may experience significant challenges in their health and recovery.
Prompt initial medical care followed by dedicated rehabilitation can help stroke patients regain as much movement and function as possible. At Circle, our priority is to ensure your safety first, maximise your rehabilitation and to help prevent another stroke. This page describes some of the steps involved in our approach.
A stroke happens when blood is cut off to part of your brain. Depending on the area(s) of your brain affected, you may experience physical and mental challenges.
- Difficulty with movement: It is common for stroke patients to experience varying difficulty with movement. This can be caused by muscle weakness or by contraction/spasm of muscles and can vary in severity and scope.
- Difficulty with balance: Your ability to balance involves a number of the systems in your body working together and a stroke has the potential to cause dysfunction in the ability of these systems to coordinate with one another.
- Difficulty with swallowing: In strokes where the brain stem is affected a loss in swallowing function is common. Cerebral strokes can also result in swallowing difficulties.
Also referred to as cognitive deficits, stroke patients can experience a decline in their ability to solve problems, to communicate, to remember and to understand their surroundings. A stroke affects the brain, and the nature of where the stroke has caused trauma or damage to the brain determines the extent and type of any cognitive deficits.
The aim of stroke recovery is to optimise your ability to carry out everyday tasks and to regain as much independence as possible, safely and with the risk of another stroke reduced.
Being able to move and function safely is a significant benefit, and our dedicated healthcare team work closely with you and your family to facilitate that.
Mental (cognitive) benefits:
The aim of cognitive therapy is to help you to return to the highest level of functioning possible (this level will vary for each individual) and to meet your individual, specific goals.
Stroke recovery is a process and can vary in length depending on the individual and the severity of the damage caused by the stroke. The important thing to know is that when you have your rehabilitation with us, we expect you to see improvements. We will work closely with you and your family through all the stages of your recovery.
Steps to physical recovery:
- Physiotherapy: Our physiotherapist will assess your ability to move and balance, as well as how well you are able to transfer (for example, moving from a chair to a standing position). They will then create a care plan, which will show how best you can be looked after while at Circle and your rehabilitation needs. Physical therapy may involve exercise, sensory work and massage to help strengthen and maintain function and flexibility in your muscles.
- Occupational Therapy: Our occupational therapist will help develop your ability to perform everyday tasks and to regain as much independence as possible. As you near discharge, they are able to visit your home with you to help make the home environment as safe as possible and ensure a smooth transition home.
- Speech and Language Therapy: Regaining the ability to communicate effectively can be a huge practical and emotional relief, and our therapist will work closely with you to ensure as much improvement as possible in your language, speech and swallowing ability.
- Psychology: Many people who experience a stroke find that they are anxious or low in mood. Talking to our psychologist can be hugely beneficial to help come to terms with what has happened and hot you can take positive steps for the future.
Steps to mental (cognitive) recovery
Depending on the cognitive challenges you have, you may be shown specific support strategies to help you manage with certain limitations. This may be things like starting to keep a diary in order to help with memory issues or learning new habits to compensate for specific weaknesses caused by your stroke.
Recovering from a stroke is a process, and this can often take time. Sometimes, you may not be able to see your own progress, but the Circle team will be there to help guide your understanding of the steps required to meet your goals, to encourage you as you progress towards them and to celebrate with you in every little win.